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War against Ukraine: this is the situation

There is nothing to talk about between Kiev and Moscow; Ukraine is trying to fend off the Russian war of aggression. There is only a thread of conversation when it comes to the prisoners. The news at a glance.

Russian invasion - War against Ukraine: this is the situation

Russia is continuing its series of night-time airstrikes on Ukraine. An air alert was triggered in the eastern Ukrainian city of Kharkiv late on Wednesday evening. "An explosion in Kharkiv. The occupiers are striking", wrote the head of the Kharkiv regional military administration, Oleh Synyehubov, on Telegram. There was initially no information on damage or casualties. Russian combat drones also flew over Ukraine for several hours, threatening areas in the south and west.

After days of numerous Russian airstrikes and Ukrainian counterattacks over the New Year, there was a positive sign: Both sides exchanged prisoners again after a break of several months. 230 Ukrainian men and women returned from Russian captivity. 248 Russian prisoners were released back home.

Fighting continued on the front in the east and south, albeit less intense due to an approaching cold front. In the evening report for Wednesday, the Ukrainian General Staff spoke of 47 Russian attack attempts. Today is the 680th day since the start of the large-scale Russian invasion of the neighboring country.

Prisoners from both sides return home

According to the Ukrainian coordination staff, the exchange of prisoners was the largest since the Russian invasion over 22 months ago. Defenders from the port city of Mariupol and Snake Island were among those returning home. "We think of all Ukrainians who are in Russian captivity," said Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyi in a video address. "There was a long pause in the exchange, but there was no pause in negotiations on an exchange." He said he was glad that the blockade had been overcome.

The last exchange had taken place in July last year. Ukraine had already returned 2828 of its citizens from Russian captivity during the war, said Andryj Jussow, spokesman for the military intelligence service HUR. According to information from Kiev, over 4000 Ukrainians are still in Russian captivity.

Energy supplier does not expect the power grid to collapse

The Ukrainian energy supplier Ukrenerho does not expect the power grid to collapse. "The enemy will not reach it," said Ukrenerho CEO Volodymyr Kudrytskyi in Kiev. Hits could cause problems. "But I am sure that it will only be temporary interruptions to the power supply due to damage to some systems," he said. "There will be no collapse of the power grid." Nevertheless, he advised Ukrainians to use electricity sparingly.

Last winter, Russia used drones and missiles to try to destroy the supply of electricity, heat and water in Ukraine. There were outages, but the system held up overall. There have also been attacks on the energy infrastructure this winter. According to Western experts, however, the attacks are currently primarily directed against Ukrainian defense companies.

Better power supply for occupied nuclear power plant

To prevent a nuclear accident, the emergency power system at the occupied Ukrainian nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhya has been improved. At the urging of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the Russian operators of the nuclear power plant close to the front line set up a system that automatically connects the nuclear power plant to a backup power line in case the main line fails. This was announced by IAEA chief Rafael Grossi in Vienna on Wednesday.

The power plant, which is currently not generating any electricity, needs electricity from outside to ensure that the reactors are cooled on a permanent basis. The nuclear power plant has already suffered several temporary power outages in the course of the Russian war of aggression.

This is important today

The Ukrainian military is expecting further Russian attacks on the front in the east and south. The focal point of the fighting is likely to remain the city of Avdiivka in the Donbass, which is close to the Russian-controlled city of Donetsk.

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